The Negro is sort of a seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world .
W. E. B. Du Bois, 1903
The rise and fall of Negro folklore within anthropology, and the relationship between the JAFL and writers of the Harlem Renaissance, is a story seldom told in the annals of the history of anthropology. African American scholars were attracted to anthropology during the Harlem Renaissance because they saw the discipline as a way of documenting and celebrating their African heritage. Nathan Huggins has explained that
the popularity of folk materials among the promoters of the New Negro marks a significant step in the Negro intellectual's gaining self-consciousness and self-confidence. Remarkably, this Afro-American concern with the preservation of folk materials was paralleled by a similar white effort which began to discover value in mountain and rural folk-idiom. The American's willingness, white and black, to parade before the world his peasant origins was tantamount to stating his own sophistication and urbanity. One seems to have come of age when one can discuss with detachment and pride one's true origins.
During the 1920s anthropology was used for the first time as a tool by Black people in an effort to shape an ethnic identity, carve out a heritage, and fight for racial equality. As part of this processes Arthur A. Schomburg, Alain Locke, Arthur H. Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston, Carter G. Woodson, and others turned to and contributed to the JAFL.
The anthropological analysis of folklore provided evidence for their claim that the rich and complex traditions and music of African Americans was the United States' most distinctive cultural gift to the rest of the world. Although "country niggahs" were repudiated by both Whites and seemingly uppity Blacks, many scholars realized that it was the rural folk who were unconsciously pouring out the raw material that fueled American music and literature. This understanding, in one form or another, motivated scholars to produce studies of Negro folklore. As Arthur H. Fauset penned for The New Negro:
There is strong need of a scientific collecting of Negro folk lore before the original sources of this material altogether lapse. Sentimental admiration and amateurish praise can never adequately preserve or interpret the precious material. It is precious in two respects—not only for its intrinsic, but for its comparative value…. American folk-lorists are now recognizing this, and systematic scientific investigation has begun under the influence and auspices of the Society for American Folk Lore [sic ] and such competent ethnologists as Franz Boas, Elsie Clews Parsons, and others.
There was an auspicious convergence between Black writers who wanted to promote the New Negro by collecting Negro folklore and White editors of the JAFL who wanted to promote Negro folklore by publishing issues dedicated entirely to it. To these ends, the editors of the JAFL gravitated toward the promoters of the New Negro, and the promoters gravitated toward the editors. The outcome of this timely courtship was fourteen issues, between 1917 and 1937, of the JAFL dedicated entirely to Negro folklore. Affectionately known as the "Negro Numbers," these volumes, as well as a number of books and monographs—written by both Black and White anthropologists—provided scientific evidence to validate African American cultural specificity. The editors of, and contributors to, the JAFL fashioned Negro folklore into an important thrust within the anthropological discourse on race and culture. However, African American scholars who forayed into the anthropological field of folklore immediately met with marginalization. They were limited in their access to funds and to publishers. Because of these and other factors, the study of African American folklore within anthropology did not sustain itself. After the early 1940s Negro folklore did not have much of an impact on the anthropological discourse of race and culture. Nevertheless, it had a lasting impact outside the academy because it helped to empower African Americans during the New Negro Movement and beyond.
It should not be surprising that Franz Boas played an important role in orchestrating the alliance between African American intellectuals during the New Negro Movement and folklorists in anthropology. Boas did not study folklore because it held intrinsic interest for him per se; he viewed it as an important part of "mass culture" and a manifestation of "popular life."
Boas used folklore as a window to view both cultural differences and similarities, help establish local history, and develop arguments about cultural diffusion, assimilation, and adaptive change. He gave considerable attention to the "local coloring" of widespread folk-tale themes that, he argued, "can be understood only in relation to the whole culture." He employed this argument to reinforce his claim that each tribe had a unique cultural expression. In "Mythology and Folk-Tales of the North American Indians," for example, Boas explained that "a perusal of the available collections makes it quite clear that in this sense the expression of the cultural life of the people contained in their tales gives to them a marked individuality, no matter what the incidents constituting the tales may be." Boas collected and studied folklore, in short, to help validate some of his basic tenets, including ideas that culture was a means of adapting to the environment, that customs and traits were diffused across space and time, and that cultural elements must be seen as an integrated whole.
In 1888 Boas, with a group of colleagues, founded the AFLS. He held sway over the society and its journal for the balance of his life. He was president of the organization in 1900, 1932, and 1934. In addition, he was involved in the editorial leadership and adjudication of the journal for forty-four consecutive years. First he served as an associate editor and then, between 1908 and 1923, as editor. After fifteen years at the helm he resigned from that post, only to serve again as an associate editor until 1942. Unlike the American Anthropologist, everyone who assumed a leadership position on the editorial board of the JAFL was either Boas's former student or a close colleague — and all adhered to his directives. Reflective of Du Bois's editorial control and heavy-handed leadership at the Crisis, Boas used the JAFL as a vehicle for his own musings and as an organ to publish his students' work.
Negro Folklore under Newell's Editorship of the JAFL — 1888–1900
From the inception of the AFLS, African American folklore was supposed to be an integral part of both the society and its journal. The original structure of the AFLS included a department of Negro folklore, and the original editorial policy dictated that one-fourth of the space in the journal be dedicated to it. Both Boas and William Wells Newell, another founding member, were responsible for the importance afforded African American folklore by the organization.
Newell was a member of the progressive Boston elite and shared Boas's views on race and culture. Newell was the first editor of the journal and served from 1888 to 1900, but he quickly found it difficult to fulfill the organization's clearly defined mandate to collect Negro folklore. The difficulty arose because most of the contributors to the journal were culled from the members, most of whom resided in the North. Newell's editorship predated the Great Migration, so the "best" folklore remained in the South. Given these constraints, Newell did surprisingly well in adhering to the editorial policy. He was responsible for publishing more than forty articles and four memoirs that covered folklore or folk traditions from Africa, the Caribbean, and the South. The quality of the material was uneven, and the Negro folklore from the South was particularly poor.
During Newell's tenure the organization was financed by the dues of just over one hundred members, and the AFLS could not afford to send members to the South to collect material. Boas and Newell pushed to have more chapters in the South, but this only resulted in collections with explicitly racist overtones. Boas was infuriated by southern collectors' lack of professionalism and the racial epithets that punctuated most submissions.
Both Newell and Boas stuck by their editorial mandate and were committed to collecting Negro folklore, but they were running out of options. In 1894 they turned to the students and faculty of Hampton University for collecting folklore to publish. Alice M. Bacon, a faculty member, organized the multiracial Hampton Folklore Society. With the help of Boas and Newell, a department of folklore and ethnology for Hampton's journal, the Southern Workman, was established. Boas, Newell, and Bacon also leveraged a formal affiliation between the Hampton Folklore Society and the AFLS. By 1894 African Americans were publishing their collections in the JAFL.
The JAFL Sidelines Negro Folklore — 1900–1919
In 1900 Alexander F. Chamberlain became the editor of the journal. He did not have the same enthusiasm for Black folklore as Newell did. In addition, Boas began to insist that only professionals undertake anthropological investigations. Boas's insistence on professionalism curtailed African American contributions to the JAFL because there were so few professional Black anthropologists. Boas also began to sideline his interest in African American folklore because of competing interests. His initial commitment to African American empowerment vis-à-vis studying Negro folklore and the great kingdoms of Africa was eclipsed by his commitment to advance his students and develop other projects. One such project was the International School of American Archeology and Ethnology in Mexico, which he tried to establish prior to World War I.
In 1908, when Boas assumed the editorship, he did not canvass African American universities looking for collectors. Nor did he try to revive the relationship with the Hampton Folklore Society. Although the amount of Negro folklore increased slightly under Boas, he admitted that he only gave it "slight attention." He essentially transformed the JAFL into an outlet for his students' dissertations, abrogating his own policy to publish Black folklore. During the first decade of the twentieth century the final requirement for the doctorate at Columbia University included publishing the dissertation. Boas was overseeing many advanced degrees and simply used the JAFL to publish them. He actually proposed changing its name to the American Journal of Folklore, which would justify a broader purview. Boas failed to convince the board to change the name, but he did change the scope: the board passed a revision to the policy that favored "longer and weightier" articles, which, in effect, rationalized the publication of dissertations.
Boas's neglect of African American folklore changed after World War I. In a strange twist of events, the editors of the JAFL once again began to publish Negro folklore — but this time with submissions by the first generation of African American anthropologists trained, in part, by Boas.
The Censure of Franz Boas — 1919
By the time the United States entered World War I the Boasian discourse on race all but eclipsed discussions in cultural anthropology stemming from the Harvard and Washington axes. The ascension of the Boasian discourse was wedded to the veritable hostile takeover of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) by Boas and his students. By 1905 the anthropologists who were aligned with Boas constituted two-thirds of the AAA Executive Board. Boas did not orchestrate these maneuvers single-handedly. Although the coalition that Boas organized held the balance of power within the AAA, it was loosely knit and fragile. Boas depended on support from current and former students and was indebted to the loyal support of Robert Lowie and Alfred Kroeber, two of his most powerful former students. Kroeber emerged as a key consensus builder and quelled the grumbling that was heard from Washington and Cambridge — but not for long.
One locus of tension was the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, which focused on Central American archeology. By 1910 its members were conducting massive research projects excavating the Mayan ruins. The so-called Maya group wanted more control and input in the direction of the AAA. A. M. Tozzer from Harvard, Kroeber from University of California, Berkeley, and Boas worked out an amicable relationship, but Harvard anthropologists seized the opportunity to censure Boas. Kroeber also negotiated with the less numerous, but more vocal, government-agency anthropologists from Washington. The so-called Washington group exercised control over the American Anthropologist and remained influential within the organizational leadership until late in the decade. The Washington group believed that its power and influence had been usurped by the Columbia group.
Animosity toward Boas was also mounting outside the formal organizational structure of the AAA. In 1916 the NRC was established as part of a national war-readiness program, and it organized the Committee on Anthropology to help fulfill its mission. Boas was an adamant pacifist and an outspoken critic of the war. He was a German Jew and obdurate in his stance against eugenics, which the NRC seemed to take as its research program of choice. Scholars like Charles B. Davenport, Madison Grant, and Aleš Hrdli ka were all influential in organizing the NRC's Committee on Anthropology. The committee was actually organized to oppose the Columbia group. George Stocking noted that the NRC explicitly tried to undermine the Columbia anthropologists' antiracist program during the most pervasive nativism in the history of the United States. The strategy included having biologists, eugenicists, and other so-called hard scientists challenge the authority of cultural anthropology as a science.
During late 1918 and early 1919 the scientific reaction against cultural anthropology was a matter of some concern to Boas's group. The main organizational locus of the reaction was the Galton Society of New York, which was organized by Charles Davenport and Madison Grant in March 1918. The society was dedicated to the study of "racial anthropology," and its membership was confined to "native" Americans who were anthropologically, socially, and politically "sound." Boas would have failed on every criterion, given his counterhegemonic pursuits and ethnic background. Members of the Galton Society, Harvard University, and government agencies all had vested interests in realigning the discipline in a way congruent with growing nativism, racism, and patriotism prior to and following the war.
Boas became a maverick. He denounced the war repeatedly by writing editorials and newspaper articles outlining his position that the war was undeniably one of imperialism. His righteousness fueled the mounting tensions that finally exploded at the 1919 AAA meetings in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
On December 20, 1919, the Nation published "Scientists as Spies," a letter written by Boas to the editor. The letter called Woodrow Wilson a hypocrite, said that democracy in the United States was a fiction, and alleged that several scientists had abrogated their calling by working as spies during the war. Boas held little back:
To the Editor of The Nation,
Sir: In his war address to Congress, President Wilson dwelt at great length on the theory that only autocracies maintain spies, that these are not needed in democracies. At the time that the President made this statement, the government of the United States had in its employ spies of unknown number. I am not concerned here with the familiar discrepancies between the President's words and the actual facts, although we may perhaps have to accept his statement as meaning correctly that we live under an autocracy, that our democracy is a fiction. The point against which I wish to enter a vigorous protest is that a number of men who follow science as their profession, men whom I refuse to designate any longer as scientists, have prostituted science by using it as a cover for their activities as spies.
A soldier whose business is murder as a fine art … accept[s] the code of morality to which modern society still conforms. Not so the scientist. The very essence of his life is the service of truth…. By accident, incontrovertible proof has come to my hands that at least four men who carry on anthropology work, while employed as government agents, introduced themselves to foreign governments as representatives of scientific researches…. Such action has raised a new barrier against the development of international friendly cooperation.
This letter ignited a furor and gave factions brooding over Boas's radical positions and institutional power the excuse to level him. Just days after the Nation published his letter, the AAA convened and issued a public censure of Boas. The punitive censure was leveled at the behest of the Anthropological Association of Washington but ratified, in part, by the large number of Harvard-affiliated members attending that meeting. It was used as a device to usurp his power and publicly attack his anti-American and antiscientific (read: antiracist) research strategies.
The Need for Black Graduate Students — 1920–1923
According to William Willis, "In view of these developments [surrounding the censure], Boas decided that the study of black folklore was needed more than ever." Willis did not explicitly outline the causal relationship between Boas's censure and the increase of Negro folklore published by the JAFL (which he controlled throughout the AAA fracas). For one reason or another, Boas began to make a concerted effort to develop a new program in African American folklore within the AFLS and train Black graduate students immediately after his censure.
Why Boas felt compelled to make this effort is not entirely clear. There were a number of auspicious factors that, perhaps, obliged him to do so. Most notable were Elsie Clews Parsons's enthusiasm for Negro folklore, the rise of African American interest in folklore, and his need to collect physical data on Black people.
The new program of Negro folklore was spearheaded and financed by Elsie Clews Parsons. Independently wealthy, Parsons came to anthropology with a doctorate in sociology, but she committed substantial financial resources to the advancement of anthropology and Negro folklore. She was fascinated by Negro folklore and conducted her own fieldwork in the United States as well as the Caribbean. In addition, she shared many of Boas's views regarding race, politics, and anthropology. The ingredients for a perfect relationship with Boas were unmistakable. She had money and loyalty, and she held Boas in high esteem. The relationship flourished: she financed fieldwork for several of Boas's students and paid for their publications. She also paid for Boas's personal secretary. In return, Boas respected her scholarship, assured her election as an associate editor of the JAFL, and made her an honorary member of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. Together they revived the use of Black collectors and began to train professional anthropologists.
These efforts were quickened by factors outside their sphere of influence. First and foremost was the Great Migration. As a result of the migration, racial tensions in urban arenas heightened and then exploded with the Red Summer of 1919, which fueled efforts to better understand all aspects of the so-called Negro problem. The Harmon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Rosenwald Fund, and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History all increased funding for Negro research. Another result was the fact that a researcher could collect a wide range of African American folktales within walking distance of Columbia University. Within the cultural mosaic of Harlem was a veritable panoply of tales from the Caribbean, the South, and Africa. The Great Migration also cultivated the New Negro intellectuals, some of whom were interested in African American folklore and cultural history. Boas began to see the value of Black professionals and believed that African American researchers were "able to penetrate through that affected demeanor by which the Negro excludes the White observer" from "participating in his true inner life." In addition to Parsons's funding of folklore projects, these dynamics lead to the timely courtship between the editors of the JAFL and the nonfiction writers of the New Negro Movement immediately after Boas's 1919 censure by the AAA.
However, Boas's push to recruit African American anthropologists was not driven solely by his desire to train folklorists. Boas needed someone on the "inside" to facilitate gathering physical data on Black people. He remained interested in physical anthropology and wanted his students to amass measurements of the Negro body in order to defend the claims regarding phenotypic plasticity that he put forth in Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants (1912). Boas was instrumental in securing a fellowship from the NRC for Melville Herskovits along these very lines. He also believed that "excellent results might be obtained" if he recruited "a graduate Negro student who wishes to work into anthropological and psychological research" to work with "Mr. Herskovits in such a way that he [the graduate student] would become an independent investigator."
Boas Solicits Support
from Carter G. Woodson
During the early 1920s Boas wanted Black students to fulfill his research agenda for folklor and physical anthropology. He turned to his colleague Carter G. Woodson, a leading scholar in African American Studies, for access to and funding for Black scholars interested in pursuing anthropology. Boas and Woodson worked together to recruit and fund Black students. They organized a national contest for the most outstanding study of folklore to recruit African Americans to Columbia. The award for the contest was $200, and advertisements were dispatched to all of the leading Negro newspapers. Circulars were also given to 60 Black organizations, and it was publicized at 225 secondary schools and colleges. To fund African American students at Columbia, they established a fellowship in the Department of Anthropology under the auspices of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), which Woodson directed.
Boas quickly found that the standard of excellence he set for his students paled in comparison to the standard of excellence Carter G. Woodson set for his. For example, Boas urged Woodson to fund Abram L. Harris, who wanted to pursue anthropology in concert with his interests in economics and history. Boas became interested in funding Harris in 1923. At that time, Harris was a twenty-four-year-old college graduate who spoke fluent German, was active in the Communist Party, and had a particular bent for Marxist theory. Boas liked Harris, but Woodson did not. Boas wrote: "So far I have seen only one man who seems promising, Mr. Abraham [sic ] L. Harris, who will write to you and submit his testimonials. I doubt whether he is just the ideal man for the position, but he makes a good impression, and I should be willing to risk it. I am going to make some further inquires, and unless I find a better candidate within a few days I shall recommend that you appoint Mr. Harris [to the fellowship]." Woodson replied, "I know him personally. I am sorry to say that he does not make a favorable impression upon me." Woodson simply demanded a record of stellar scholarship from African Americans graduate students funded by the ASNLH. This posed a stumbling block for Boas: he bemoaned the fact that Woodson always felt that the students he or Parsons suggested "did not appear to be qualified."
Boas mentioned to Woodson that he was going to make other inquiries regarding an assistant for Herskovits. The same day that Boas wrote to Woodson regarding Harris, he queried his longtime friend W. E. B. Du Bois. In a letter sent to the "Editorial Rooms of The Crisis ," Boas briefed Du Bois about Herskovits's project and his need for an assistant, and he explained that "the only promising applicant whom I have seen so far is Mr. Abraham [sic ] L. Harris. Do you happen to know him? If you know of any other young Negro who might be a promising candidate for this position, I wish you would be good enough to send him to me." Du Bois quickly wrote back and stated that he only vaguely knew of Abram L. Harris and suggested contacting Arthur H. Fauset, who was pursuing his master's degree in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Arthur H. Fauset (1899–1983)
The first Black anthropologist to use the JAFL to validate Black culture was Arthur H. Fauset. He took advantage of not only the JAFL but also Parsons's interest in African American folklore. Parsons underwrote Fauset's fieldwork in the South, the Caribbean, and Nova Scotia. She also underwrote the bulk of his publications and was responsible for publishing his master's thesis at the University of Pennsylvania as the twenty-fourth memoir of the JAFL.
Fauset was born in Flemington, New Jersey, in 1899. He was educated in the public schools of Philadelphia and attended both Central High School and the Philadelphia School of Pedagogy. He began teaching in the Philadelphia public schools at the age of nineteen and continued to teach as he pursued his academic career at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1921, a master's degree in 1924, and a doctoral degree in 1942.
He was the youngest of the nine children who made up a large household of extended family members. One of his most notable siblings was Jessie R. Fauset, his older half-sister, who was an important novelist during the Harlem Renaissance and served as the literary editor of the Crisis . His father was an outspoken minister for the relatively conservative African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Reverend Huff Fauset did not let the church stop him from engaging in larger political struggles or preaching political rhetoric from the pulpit. As a result, church officials curtailed his aspirations to positions of leadership within the larger church organization. All of the children in the Fauset family were raised in an atmosphere that cultivated knowledge, fostered excellence, and nourished self-worth. Reflecting on growing up in Philadelphia, Arthur Fauset explained that the "family was poor, one might say, dreadfully poor," but many considered them middle class because they "read newspapers and books, discussed politics and religion." They also "fought against the binding racial biases that made life in the City of Brotherly Love often a burden. It is in these respects that the family was middle class: working, aspiring, discussing, getting their children educated to the extent that biases would permit."
Fauset emerged as one of the leading Black folklorists in the early 1920s, although he was only tangentially associated with Boas. He made a substantial contribution to the awareness of African American folklore in the New Negro Movement and to the new program of Negro folklore in the AFLS. He intersected with the JAFL via Parsons and Frank Speck. The latter, a linguist and folklorist of Native American groups, served as Fauset's advisor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Although his contributions to the study of folklore did not impart many theoretical innovations, like many of Boas's early students, he was charged only with reporting the facts. The bulk of his work included collections of tales, songs, conundrums, and jokes. It rarely included commentary. Both Willis and Drake have indicted Boas and Parsons for using Black collectors as mere technicians. Ostensibly, Fauset was one of them. Another view suggests that Fauset let people speak for themselves. He dutifully recorded where the tale was told and where the teller of the tale was born, grew up, and resided. In short, he contextualized Black people's voices and then just let the voices tell the story. He did not give Negro folklore an anthropological spin. Alain Locke, Arthur Schomburg, and other New Negroes were attracted to the actual folklore in the JAFL, not the heavy-handed theory that often littered the pages. Fauset was exceedingly critical of the amateur and commercial folklorist who "assumes to interpret Negro character instead of simply telling his stories." He thus acted as an archivist who deposited the collections of Negro folklore in the JAFL to be used by the New Negro promoters and future generations.
Fauset did employ a subtle theoretical framework in his first book, Folklore from Nova Scotia (1931) and his contribution to Alain Locke's The New Negro entitled "American Negro Folk Literature" (1968 ). In the latter he railed against Joel Chandler Harris, who collected and published Uncle Remus stories as a commercial venture. He criticized Harris for using his own imagination and writing the tales with "no thought of the ethnological bearing." Fauset declared that Harris's stories had "too much the flavor of the popular trend of contemporary writing of the Thomas Nelson Page portrait of the Negro…. [I]t cannot be denied that such portraits as they [T. Nelson Page and J. C. Chandler] gave were highly romanticized, presenting an interpretation of the Negro seen neither objectively nor realistically."
In Folklore from Nova Scotia (1931) Fauset clearly articulated the theories that shaped his work. Central to his theoretical understanding of folklore was the diffusion model, which influenced his decision to study folklore in Nova Scotia. He even stated that it "may seem strange" to collect Negro folklore in Canada, because the "native Nova Scotia Negro knows little or nothing about the original folk-tales which are common property among Negroes of the south…. Animal stories, so prevalent in the lore of Africa, are almost entirely lacking among these people."
Although the diffusion model was central, it was not the key theoretical element. Fauset expressed that he was documenting the diversity of the African American experience and debunking stereotypes. He framed his collection of Nova Scotia folklore by noting that Negro migrations had created cultural diversity within African American communities throughout the Americas. Stereotypes of Negroes, therefore, simply did not hold up to scientific scrutiny because there were so many African American cultures. This point was seemingly important to his research because he highlighted it in the second paragraph of his book. He stated that Negroes from Nova Scotia often told perfect strangers that they "'would go down to the States, but it is too hot down there,'—thus giving the lie to the proverbial fondness of the Negro for warm climes." Fauset also mentioned that his informants were aware of the perpetuation of stereotypes, and he "seemed to detect a disdainful attitude toward telling tales which put them [the informants] in the role of minstrels."
The major problem Fauset explored was neither diffusion nor African retentions but hybridity and diversity in the African diaspora. He noted that traditional Uncle Remus and "B're Rabbit" stories were remembered only by the older members of the communities but stated that it was like "extracting the proverbial hen's teeth to obtain anything resembling a [Negro] tale." Fauset recalled one of these attempts at collecting: "Old Ned Brown almost literally sweat drops of blood as he labored, partly to recall the tale, and partly to deliver himself of the thing which he recalled." On the other hand, he recounted, Negroes would tell their own variations of Irish, French, or English folktales. This hybridity or "medley," as he called it, was his basic framework for the monograph:
Scarcely any of these stories and riddles had anything distinctive from the general folklore of the province, and since they were obtained in part from white as well as from colored people, I will treat the material from that general aspect for the most part. I would say that the folklore of the province is a medley of tales and folk notions representing cultures from all parts of the western world, a natural situation in a maritime locality.
Fauset's medley model fits within the Boasian approach because his model advanced the idea that African American culture changed as its context changed—all was not lost, nor was it lost for good. He stated that "It would not be impossible, however, for the Nancy stories or Uncle Remus tales to become the property of these Negroes once more due to the comparatively large number of migrants from the West Indies who have invaded the province." Fauset recognized that African Americans in Nova Scotia did not simply assimilate the dominant culture and argued that they emerged as part of the regional culture and contributed substantially to it.
Although Fauset put forward an important thesis, he virtually ignored the class dimensions associated with "the kind of story you naturally expect" of the Negro. He highlighted the fact that most of the collecting he did occurred in biracial communities, but he did not explain the relationship between the demographic composition of the communities he studied and the virtual lack of Negro stories. Furthermore, he glossed over the strategies employed by rural Blacks to resist imparting their tales to a city Negro from the United States. He did, however, hint at these strategies. For example, he noted that "where the Negroes live for all the world like plantation folk, in their rickety cabins (not log cabins), off to themselves, with religious customs and even habits of living distinctly their own, I could not find persons who knew the animal stories. These folk were difficult to approach, and very reticent to impart information … while one or two thought that they knew what I meant but refused to tell what they pretended was in their heads." Fauset went as far as to say that "the folklore collector must remember that his business goes on like that of the insurance agent. It is almost always, 'Call around tomorrow!' But if one calls a sufficient number of times, one is frequently rewarded for being persistent."
Fauset was an important link between anthropology and the New Negro Movement. He was also an important folklore collector for the AFLS, the catalyst that allowed the society to fulfill its new mandate—to train and publish African American folklorists.
Elsie Clews Parsons's Recruitment Efforts
Arthur Fauset was only one of many who contributed to the JAFL's Negro Numbers. Elsie Clews Parsons (1875–1941) solicited and received submissions by many African Americans, and she received much of the material from the ranks of Black professionals. A. E. Perkins, for example, wrote several articles for the JAFL. A school principal in New Orleans, Perkins had earned a doctorate. He collected folklore from his students and sent the collections to Parsons, who subsequently published them in the Negro Numbers.
Parsons looked in earnest for Negro folklore. She was determined to locate Negro collectors and even designed a lecture on the value of Negro folklore to deliver at social organizations in Harlem. She made her pitch to organizations that served Caribbean immigrants; ostensibly, members of these organizations could collect the seemingly best folklore. Evidently, she did not make her pitch to the Harlem intelligentsia who, according to Huggins, were willing to "parade before the world" their "peasant origins." She tried to obtain folklorists among the recent immigrants from the Caribbean who, in many respects, were trying to shed their cultural baggage and embrace so-called mainstream American traditions. One successful recruit, from these otherwise fruitless ventures into the burgeoning Caribbean community, was John H. Johnson of Antigua.
Parsons did not have much success recruiting working-class folklorists outside the circle of New Negro promoters. She did, however, succeed in recruiting students and faculty from agricultural schools in the South, primarily because of her collaboration with George Foster Peabody. Peabody was a powerful advocate for her in the southern schools, many of which he had graciously endowed. Parsons traveled to various agricultural and normal schools in the South and found a number of educators who were willing to collect folklore from their students. The fruits of these endeavors resulted in the bulk of the texts in the Negro Numbers.
When Alain Locke brought together the so-called New Negroes to write contributions for his book, he turned to Arthur H. Fauset and Arthur Schomburg to cover African and Negro folklore as it related to the New Negro. Both authors used the articles and submissions in the JAFL extensively to support their arguments about the retention of African cultural patterns by New World Negroes. Caddie S. Isham, Portia Smiley, Susan D. Spinney, Sadie E. Stewart, Clemmie S. Terrell, and Monroe N. Work were African American contributors to the JAFL who were cited in Locke's comprehensive bibliography in The New Negro . In addition to African American folklorists, Fauset cited seven articles by Parsons and sundry other citations by collectors associated with the AFLS in his essay on "American Negro Folk Literature."
Locke's comprehensive bibliography was a treasure trove of the New Negro Movement, and it contained more than fifty references to the JAFL. One can begin to see how the Boas-influenced program of Negro folklore implemented by the AFLS was appropriated by the promoters of the New Negro Movement to fashion their identity in terms of African cultural continuities. Perhaps the most notable promoter of the New Negro Movement to use folklore for this end was Zora Neale Hurston, who loomed large in both Harlem literary circles and Parsons's program of Negro folklore in the AFLS.
Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1961)
Zora Neale Hurston was born in Eatonville, Florida, in 1891 (Figure 11). Eatonville was a small African American township that celebrated the fact it was one of the first Black communities to charter and incorporate its own city. Hurston grew up listening to her father preach in the Macedonia Baptist Church, and she also grew up
Zora Neale Hurston, ca. 1935.
(Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
listening to men swapping stories, gossiping, or, as she put it, "telling lies" in front of Joe Clarke's store.
Hurston was nine when her mother died. She later left home to be a maid in a traveling Gilbert and Sullivan show and finished high school in Baltimore. She stayed in Baltimore and began college at Morgan State University, but she later transferred to Howard University, where she was encouraged by the faculty to pursue creative writing. She then moved to New York and finished her undergraduate studies at Barnard College, where she became interested in anthropology and folklore. Gladys Reichard introduced her to both anthropology and Franz Boas. She began to view anthropology as an effective tool for the exploration of African American culture as she developed an affectionate relationship with Boas. She penned:
In a way it would not be a new experience for me. When I pitched head-foremost into the world I landed in the crib of negroism. From the earliest rocking of my cradle. I had known about the capers Bre Rabbit is apt to cut and what the Squinch Owl says from the house top. But it was fitting me like a tight chemise. I couldn't see it for wearing it. It was only when I was off in college, away from my native surroundings, that I could see myself like somebody else and stand off and look at my garment. Then I had to have the spy-glass of Anthropology to look through at that.
By the late 1920s Hurston became an important promoter of the New Negro Movement, while pursuing folklore and the rest of her Barnard curriculum. Her successes were due to the way in which she embraced the incongruities that made her enigmatic yet effective. These incongruities were based not on her being a woman in a sexist society or being a Black in a racist society but her being articulate, creative, and smart, yet dark, big, and "country" in the "color-struck" Harlem society. These same qualities gave her an entrée to patrons who supported New Negro artists.
Mrs. Rufus Osgood Mason underwrote much of Hurston's fieldwork. She thought of Hurston as "an unspoiled child of nature" who could bring to her the primitive and honest stories of the Negro. Hurston was not a jazz player, cabaret dancer, pimp, prostitute, or bootlegger; but, for all intents and purposes, she satisfied her patron the same way other Harlemites satisfied their patrons at places like the Cotton Club. Hurston gave her patron what she wanted: a slice of the exotic and erotic, honest and natural, world of the Negro.
Nathan Huggins perhaps best captures the role Harlem played in satisfying Whites' deep desires fashioned out of popular renditions of Jung and Freud:
Men who sensed that they were slaves to moral codes, that they were cramped, and confined by guilt-producing norms which threatened to make them emotional cripples, found Harlem a tonic and a release. Harlem Negroes' lives appeared immediate and honest. Every thing they did—their music, their art, their dance—uncoiled deep inner tensions. Harlem seemed a cultural enclave that had magically survived the psychic fetters of Puritanism. How convenient! It was merely a taxi trip to the exotic for most white New Yorkers. In cabarets decorated with tropical and jungle motifs … they heard Jazz, that almost forbidden music…. Coffee, chocolate, and caramel-brown girls whose lithe long legs kicked high, bodies and hips rolling and tossing with insinuations; feline black men—dandies—whose intuitive grace, teased and flirted at the very edge of chaos, yet never lost aplomb. Into its vortex white ladies and gentlemen were pulled, to dance the jungle dance.
This same vortex engulfed the patrons of Negro artists and compelled them to support the cultural production (or reproduction, in Hurston's case) of Negroes who were still further from civilization and closer to savagery than were their downtown counterparts.
During the late 1920s and early 1930s Hurston executed a precarious balancing act—between her fiction and scholarship, her cosmopolitan élan and southern disposition—to negotiate the complex terrain that Harlem created. She had to simultaneously exploit yet obey the needs and expectations of a variety of patrons, members of literary circles, African American critics, and academic advisors that included Franz Boas, Carter G. Woodson, Gladys Reichard, Ruth Benedict, and Melville Herskovits.
While performing this balancing act Hurston emerged as the leading Negro folklorist in the nation, even though her first attempt at collecting folklore ended in failure. She then embraced the mantra of the Columbia anthropologists: the researcher must immerse him- or herself in a particular culture and understand that each particular culture was a complex integrated whole and equally sophisticated relative to the particular environment and historical experience.
She dropped her "Barnardese" and undertook ethnological fieldwork in New Orleans, Florida, Haiti, and Jamaica, becoming an active participant in each community. In a ritual in New Orleans, for example, she lay nude for sixty-nine hours while she was put through a complicated ritual that included drinking wine mixed with the blood of all present and being accepted by the spirit. When she went to the field she carried her personal effects in her suitcase and packed a pearl-handled pistol in her purse. She searched for folklore in places into which few scholars would venture. One time she was made to steal a black cat with her hands and then kill it by tossing it into a boiling cauldron. After the cat's flesh dropped away from its bones, Hurston was instructed to pass the bones through her mouth until one tasted bitter, then carry it forever.
Hurston advanced the vindicationist concern for debunking stereotypes and fallacies while promoting African American culture by using Boasian ideas of culture. For her, vindication meant dismissing notions that African American culture in the South was backward and inferior. She asserted that the experiences of rural southern Negroes were rich, important, and a vital link between African American culture in Harlem and traditional West African cultures. She advanced Herskovits's concern for documenting the retention of African cultural patterns, as well as Margaret Mead's and Ruth Benedict's concern for documenting the nexus between culture and personality. Much of Hurston's work in Jamaica attempted to explore the relationship between the Jamaican national culture and the Jamaican personality. Despite these contributions to specific anthropological frameworks, she remained largely marginalized in the field of anthropology.
Her most influential nonfiction book, Mules and Men, was a study of Negro folklore in rural Florida. In it she shattered preconceived notions about lazy and ignorant rural Negroes by forcefully arguing that African American folklore was both complex and expressive and that folklore was an effective adaptive strategy with origins in Africa. She explained that
they [folktales] are the complex cultural communications permitted an oppressed people, their school lessons, their heroic biographies, their psychic savings banks, their children's legacies. Black folktales illustrate how an entire people adapted and survived in the new world experience, how they transformed what they found into a distinctive way of life; they describe the human behavior the group approves, indicate when the behavior is appropriate, and suggest strategies necessary for the preservation of the group in a hostile environment.
The book consisted of an arduous recording of linguistic usage, a careful documentation of the social world of rural Florida, and the prose of an experienced novelist.
Another important aspect of Hurston's work was documenting African religious practices in the Americas. For example, she wrote about Haitian Voodun as a complex African belief system that integrated the Haitian worldview. She attempted to exonerate the religion from the sensational and lurid association held by the general public. She also assumed the role of a salvage ethnographer and gave voice to people whose culture was rapidly changing in the wake of twentieth-century progress.
She won critical acclaim for her fiction, but her nonfiction was not afforded attention in either academic or public forums. In his review of Tell My Horse (1938), her ethnography of Haiti and Jamaica, for the Saturday Review of Literature, Harold Courlander remarked that the book was "a curious mixture of remembrance, travelogue, sensationalism and anthropology. The remembrances are vivid, the travelogue tedious, the sensationalism reminiscent of Seabrook and the anthropology a mélange of misinterpretation and exceedingly good folklore."
There were other dimensions to her work. Like her contemporaries Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, she focused on women and their role in cultural production. She also boldly presaged the postmodern critique and embraced the fact that writing ethnography presupposed contributions from one's own creative processes. Blurring the lines between ethnography and fiction was her signature. The following excerpts of her work are emblematic of her concern for women and her creative writing approach to ethnography:
But now Miss America, World's Champion woman, you take your promenading self down into the cobalt blue waters of the Caribbean and see what happens. You meet a lot of darkish men who make vociferous love to you, but otherwise pay you no mind. If you try to talk sense, they look at you right pitifully as if to say, "What a pity! That mouth that was made to supply some man (and why not me) with kisses, is spoiling itself asking stupidities about banana production and wages!" It is not surprising they try to put you in your place, no. They consider that you never had any.
Women get no bonus just for being female down there. She can do the same labors as a man or a mule and nobody thinks anything about it. In Jamaica it is a common sight to see skinny-looking but muscular black women sitting on top of a pile of rocks with a hammer making little ones out of big ones. They look so wretched with their bare black feet all gnarled and distorted from walking barefooted over rocks. The nails on their big toes thickened like a hoof from a lifetime of knocking against stones. All covered over with the gray dust of the road, those feet look almost saurian and repellent. Of course their clothing is meager, cheap and ugly. But they sit by the roadside on their enormous pile of rocks and crackdown all day long.
In 1961 Zora N. Hurston died in poverty. During the past decade, however, literary critics have championed her and her work.
The Decline of Negro Folklore in Anthropology
Elsie Clews Parsons, Franz Boas, Frank Speck, and Carter G. Woodson provided the financial and structural foundation for an important program in Negro folklore, but it flourished for only a short time. It actually contributed more to the promoters of the New Negro than to anthropological theories of race and culture. Many of the reasons for the failure of the program were circumstantial. Boas had neither the ability nor the inclination to consistently secure funds for his Black students. Moreover, he had assumed commitments and responsibilities that did not allow him to focus on or support Negro folklore projects. The AFLS project could not survive without Boas's continuous support.
Other reasons for the failure were not circumstantial, however, William Willis, Jr. highlighted the more substantive reasons for Boas's intermittent support, arguing that Boas viewed African American folklore strictly in terms of survivals from Africa and not integral to the southern Negro experience. The study of African American culture by way of folklore required symbolic interpretations and a consideration of the social environment. Boas was thwarted by his literalism. "For instance he saw animals as animals and not as persons in animal fables…. Boas strongly resisted symbolic interpretations…. Boas's distrust of folklore severely restricted his insights into the black experience in slavery and under Jim Crow." Boas also failed to follow his own views that folklore must be viewed in relation to the environment. He did not view the hostile social climate of the South (and the North) endured by Negroes in the same terms as the rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest endured by Kwakiutl or the arid climate of the Southwest endured by Great Basin Shoshone—part of the environment to which cultural strategies helped people to adapt. There is a final note that perhaps led to Boas's patchy enthusiasm for Negro folklore. He may have sensed how the JAFL was becoming party to the promoters of the New Negro and their attempts to promote "race consciousness." Boas was "absolutely opposed to all kinds of attempts to foster racial solidarity." He made little distinction between nationalism in Europe and "racial solidarity" among African Americans in the United States. He viewed both as roadblocks to a fully integrated society.
The Negro folklore promoted by the AFLS has been virtually erased by historians of anthropology and locked out of the anthropological canon. There were a number of other scholars who used African American folklore as a vehicle for vindication but were not associated with the JAFL. Two notable examples were Katherine Dunham and Irene Diggs.
Early African American Folklorists outside the JAFL
Katherine Dunham (1910-) used anthropology and folklore for social activism and psychosocial empowerment. She pursued anthropology, folklore, dance, and theater at the University of Chicago in the early 1930s. She studied African cultural continuities in dance traditions in the Americas, using anthropological methods and theory introduced by Robert Redfield. She also collaborated with Melville Herskovits when he was at Northwestern University. Her first fieldwork was conducted in the Caribbean, where she studied and compared the dance forms of Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, and Trinidad. Although she studied throughout the Antilles, the bulk of her fieldwork was in Haiti. She had decided to continue her studies at Chicago in anthropology after she wrote up her fieldwork. Redfield encouraged her, however, to pursue her medium of choice — dance. Although she pursued dance over anthropology, she incorporated anthropology into her scholarship and activism.
The results of Dunham's research have been published in Spanish, French, and English. Although she was influenced by Herskovits, she explained and analyzed dance from a functional approach. She did not approach functionalism the way A. R. Radcliffe-Brown did; rather, she focused on the psychological functions of dance. She later successfully applied her research methods to disillusioned youth in East St. Louis, teaching them discipline as well as personal competency through dance. She developed a dance company in 1939, and in 1943 she founded a school of arts and a research institute for dance in New York City. The school of arts housed a department of cultural studies and an institute for Caribbean research, and her dance company received critical acclaim. Her activism took many forms: in addition to building institutions, she frequently worked with the NAACP and the Urban League in an effort to integrate audiences in theaters.
Irene Diggs (1906–1998) began her graduate study of anthropology and sociology at Atlanta University the same year that Du Bois left the NAACP and returned to Atlanta. In 1934 she enrolled in Du Bois's seminar "Karl Marx and the Negro Problem," and the following spring she became his research assistant. As such she became instrumental in Du Bois's historiography. She worked on Black Reconstruction in America (1935), Black Folk Then and Now (1939), and Dusk of Dawn: An Essay toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1940). She and Du Bois also confounded the journal Phylon: A Review of Race and Culture .
In the early 1940s Diggs began her anthropological career in Cuba, where she received her doctorate. She studied under Fernando Ortiz and was able to travel throughout the island analyzing and investigating the West African cultural impact on Cuban society. By collecting folklore, recording music, photographing festivals, and participating in rituals and dances, she documented how transgenerational cultural patterns affected societies. She also demonstrated how the identity of twentieth-century Afro-Cubans incorporated visible elements of Yorban Dahomeyan traditions.
Diggs's work was firmly located within the tradition of Black vindicationist scholarship, and "she extended or applied Du Bois's analytical concerns and methodological orientation to the study of Latin America." She relied on ethnography coupled with historiography and social history to develop a comparative analysis of race, class, and culture in African societies in the Americas.
Fauset, Hurston, Dunham, and Diggs all conducted ethnographic work throughout the Americas. The continuity of African culture in the Americas, a multidisciplinary approach, and the effort to validate African culture as rich, complex, and expressive made these individuals pioneers in anthropology and members of a long tradition of vindicationist scholar-activists who painstakingly eroded notions that African American culture was inferior, backward, or degenerate.
The Larger Impact of the New Negro Movement
Franz Boas and his students at Columbia University (on West 119th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, just up the steps of Morningside Park from Harlem) were reshaping the anthropological discourse on race literally in the middle of the Harlem Renaissance. The discourse that eclipsed anthropological ideas of racial inferiority emerged in the very space in which African Americans challenged the meaning of a racial category that imposed inequality while demonstrating that their culture was rich, complex, and far from degenerate.
Boas and several of his students at Columbia University joined activists in an effort to liberate African Americans from the grip of claims of inferiority and to establish a more rigorous academic discourse to explain race and culture. The change in the social sciences followed, and at times led, slow changes and arduous political and social struggles that would eventually topple Plessy in 1954 and usher in the surge of protests for civil rights during the 1960s. The social and political processes that fostered changes in the construction of race during the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance gave rise to changes in an American anthropology that began to espouse racial equality.
1. William Willis, Jr. ("Franz Boas and the Study of Black Folklore," in The New Ethnicity: Perspectives from Ethnology, ed. John W. Bennett [St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing, 1975], 307-334) is one of the few scholars to have published on this topic. He carefully analyzed Boas's role in publishing the "Negro Numbers" of the Journal of American Folk-Lore. I have drawn heavily from Willis's argument and findings in an attempt to develop and advance his contribution.
2. Huggins, Harlem Renaissance, 75.
3. Of course, this argument created a paradox. On one hand, African American intellectuals were arguing that "Negro culture" was unique because of its cultural continuity with Africa. On the other hand, they were arguing that the rise of Negro culture in the New World was what was unique and what made it the only true American culture.
4. Huggins, Harlem Renaissance, 73.
5. Arthur Huff Fauset, "American Negro Folk Literature," in The New Negro, ed. Alain Locke (New York: Atheneum, 1968 ), 241.
6. See Gladys A. Reichard, "Franz Boas and Folklore," in Franz Boas, 1858-1942, American Anthropological Association Memoir Series, 61 (Menasha, Wis.: American Anthropological Association, 1943), 52; Willis, "Franz Boas," 310.
7. Franz Boas, "Mythology and Folk-Tales of the North American Indians," in Race, Language, and Culture (New York: Macmillan, 1940 ), 453; Franz Boas, "The Mind of Primitive Man," Journal of American Folk-Lore 14 (1901): 11.
8. Franz Boas, "Stylistic Aspects of Primitive Literature," in Race, Language, and Culture (New York: Macmillan, 1940 ), 498.
9. Boas, "Mythology and Folk-Tales," 476.
10. Willis, "Franz Boas," 52; Reichard, "Franz Boas," 52.
11. Willis, "Franz Boas," 313-314.
12. Ronald Lamarr Sharps, "Happy Days and Sorrow Songs: Interpretations of Negro Folklore by Black Intellectuals, 1893-1928" (Ph.D. diss., George Washington University, 1991); Willis, "Franz Boas," 315.
13. Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution, 284.
14. Ricardo Godoy, "Franz Boas and His Plans for an International School of American Archeology and Ethnology in Mexico," Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 13 (1977): 228-242.
15. The slight increase in the number of pages of African American folklore published in the journal was due largely to lengthy contributions by Howard W. and Anna K. Odum. These two social scientists were working at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and were largely independent of Boas's orbit of professional influence.
16. Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution, 285.
17. Willis, "Franz Boas," 317.
18. Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution, 285.
19. Ibid., 289.
21. Alexander Lesser, "Franz Boas," in Totems and Teachers: Perspectives on the History of Anthropology, ed. Sydel Silverman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), 13.
22. Franz Boas, "Scientists as Spies," Nation 109, no. 2842 (1919): 79.
23. Lesser, "Franz Boas," 18; Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution, 274.
24. Willis, "Franz Boas," 319.
25. Among Elsie Clews Parsons's publications are: "Notes on Folk Lore of Guilford County, North Carolina," Journal of American Folk-Lore 30 (1917): 201-208; "Folk Tales Collected at Miami, Florida," Journal of American Folk-Lore 30 (1917): 222-227; "The Provenience of Certain Negro Folk-Tales," Journal of American Folk-Lore 30 (1919): 227-234; "Folk Lore from the Cape Verde Islands," Journal of American Folk-Lore 34 (1921): 89-109; "Folk Lore from Aiken, South Carolina," Journal of American Folk-Lore 34 (1921): 1-39; Folk-lore of theSea Islands, South Carolina, American Folk-Lore Society Memoir No. 16 (Cambridge, Mass.: American Folk-Lore Society, 1923).
26. Willis, "Franz Boas," 319.
27. Franz Boas, "Introduction," in Mules and Men, by Zora Neale Hurston (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1978 ), x.
28. Melville Jean Herskovits, The Anthropometry of the American Negro, Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology, 11 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930).
29. Boas to Woodson, April 30, 1923, APS.
30. Woodson to Boas, February 15, 1923, APS.
31. William Darity Jr. and Julian Ellison, "Abram Harris, Jr.: The Economics of Race and Social Reform," History of Political Economy 22, no. 4 (1990): 614-619.
32. Boas to Woodson, May 14, 1923, APS.
33. Woodson to Boas, May 15, 1923, APS.
34. Harris's activity as a communist may be the reason why Woodson would have favored someone else.
35. Boas to Putnam, October 8, 1923, APS.
36. Boas to Du Bois, May 14, 1923, APS.
37. Du Bois to Boas, May 21, 1923, APS.
38. Arthur Huff Fauset, Folklore from Nova Scotia, American Folk-Lore Society Memoir No. 25 (New York: G. E. Strechert, 1931), vi.
39. Locke, New Negro, 417.
40. Carolyn W. Sylvander, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Black American Writer (Troy, N.Y.: Whitstone Publishing, 1981).
41. Ibid., 24.
42. Among Arthur Huff Fauset's contributions are: "Folk-Lore from the Half-Breeds of Nova Scotia," Journal of American Folk-Lore 38 (1925): 300-315; "Negro Folk Tales from the South," Journal of American Folk-Lore 40 (1927): 213-303; "Tales and Riddles Collected in Philadelphia," Journal of American Folk-Lore 41 (1928): 529-557; Folklore from Nova Scotia; Black Gods of the Metropolis: Negro Religious Cults of the Urban North (New York: Oxford University Press, 1944); "American Negro Folk Literature."
43. Fauset, Folklore from Nova Scotia, vi.
44. Willis, "Franz Boas," 324; Drake, "Anthropology and the Black Experience," 18.
45. Fauset, "American Negro Folk Literature," 240.
46. His work on Nova Scotia was written as his master's thesis in 1925; it was published by the AFLS in 1931.
47. Fauset, "American Negro Folk Literature," 239.
48. Fauset, Folklore from Nova Scotia, viii.
49. Ibid., i.
50. Ibid., ix.
52. Ibid., vii.
53. Ibid., x.
54. Ibid., ix.
56. Ibid., vii-ix.
57. Ibid., ix.
58. Fauset went on to complete his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation, "A Study of Five Negro Religious Cults in the Philadelphia of Today," was first published by the Philadelphia Anthropological Society in volume 3, number 2, of the Brinton Memorial Series. In 1944 Oxford University Press published it as Black Gods of the Metropolis. Fauset also wrote for children: for example, For Freedom: A Biographical Sketch of the American Negro, was one of the early Black history books written specifically for school-children.
59. A. E. Perkins, "Riddles from Negro School-Children in New Orleans, La.," Journal of American Folk-Lore 35 (1922): 105-115; A. E. Perkins, "Negro Spirituals from the Far South," Journal of American Folk-Lore 35 (1922): 223-248.
60. Willis, "Franz Boas," 323.
61. Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom, 278.
62. Willis, "Franz Boas," 324.
63. Among Zora Neale Hurston's writings are: "Spunk," Opportunity 3 (1925): 171-173; "Dance Songs and Tales from the Bahamas," Journal of American Folk-Lore 43 (1930): 294-312; "Hoodoo in America," Journal of American Folk-Lore 44 (1931): 317-417; Dust Tracks on the Road (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1942); Mules and Men (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1978 ); Tell My Horse (Berkeley, Calif.: Turtle Island Press, 1981 ); The Sanctified Church: The Folklore Writings of Zora Neale Hurston (Berkeley, Calif.: Turtle Island Press, 1981); Their Eyes Were Watching God (New York: Perennial Library, 1990 ); Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life (New York: Harper Perennial, 1991 ).
64. Rampersad states that Hurston was born on January 7, 1891, but she so willfully misrepresented herself that her major biographer believed that she was born in 1901 (Arnold Rampersad, "Forward," in Mules and Men, by Zora Neale Hurston [New York: Harper Perennial, 1990 (1935)], xix).
65. Hurston, Mules and Men, 3.
66. Robert E. Hemenway, Zora Neale Hurston (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980 ), 107-108; Benjamin P. Bowser, "The Contribution of Blacks to Sociological Knowledge," Phylon 42, no. 2 (1981): 189.
67. Huggins, Harlem Renaissance, 89.
68. Hemenway, Zora Neale Hurston, 4.
69. Hurston, Mules and Men, 190-236.
70. Ibid., xxii.
71. Harold Courlander, "Witchcraft in the Caribbean Islands," Saturday Review of Literature, October 15, 1938, 6.
72. Hurston, Tell My Horse, 75.
73. Ibid., 77.
74. Hemenway, Zora Neale Hurston, 320-348.
75. Willis, "Franz Boas," 326.
76. Boas to Andron, October 26, 1933, APS.
77. Joyce Aschenbrenner, "Katherine Dunham," in Women Anthropologists, ed. Ute Gacs and Aisha Khan (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989), 8-87.
78. Ibid., 84.
80. A. Lynn Bolles, "Irene Diggs," in Women Anthropologist, ed. Ute Gacs and Aisha Khan (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989), 60.
81. Ibid., 61; Harrison, "Du Boisian Legacy," 243.
82. Bolles, "Irene Diggs," 61.
83. Harrison, "Du Boisian Legacy," 245; Irene Diggs, "The Negro in the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata," Journal of Negro History 36 (1951): 281-301.